School Records


Schools that are known to have existed in Porter Township include:

If you know the name or location of other schools in the township or have information regarding any of the above listed schools, please e-mail me.

Schools built in the territory now known as Porter Township, about 1818 or 1820, were the Shields school, near Smithland and the Ardery school, near the head of Leatherwood Creek.
Before the acceptance of the common school law in March, 1836, there was an Academy near the Presbyterian Church at Leatherwood. The first public school was built nearby, on the Olean Road near John Slagle's, and was called Union School. It was built of logs, poorly seated, but well ventilated.

Shortly after the establishment of Porter Township, its 28,875 acres were divided into school district, each about two miles square. The following were some of those established. (Inaccuracies or omissions of pedagogues are unintentional and are due to difficulties in obtaining information from past history).

The Blair School, established between Rock Run and the Low Grade Railroad in southwestern Porter Township, was near Madison Township and Armstrong County. This school, on property owned by Blairs, provided an education for many of the early settlers.

Teachers of this early school were:
Elsie Fowkes Bailey, Leanore Chandler Manley, Ruth Polliard Laughlin, Lena Rankin Stahlman, Susan Wells McMaster, Dorothy McCullough, Helen Newhouse Wells, Buelah Sayers Blair, Alice Hoover Shankle, John Shoemaker, Russell Stauffer, Mabel Walls, Edith Elder Stroup, Annie Barlett, Elmer Zimmerman, Louella Hindman Blair, Phyllis Blair Chandler, Martha shoemaker Wilson, Frances Henry Marshall, Paul Ramsey

Bluetown was built in 1902 and closed in 1930. The pupils were bussed to Cottage Hill. Pedagogues recalled were:

Nora Space, Alphreda Kespeller, Mae Sayers, John Shanafelt, Estella Brinker Delp, Edith McNutt, Blanche Dixon, Josephine Schieber, Alice Baker, Edith Hetrick, Zoe McMaster, Irene Wilson, Mae Sherman, Mae Swartfager Brinker, Elwin Brown, Helen Newhouse Wells, Margaret McCune, Jean Dibb, Sara McMan

Located at Brinkerton, in northeastern Porter Township, on land now owned by Phillips; the teachers recalled are:

Cecilia Kindle, John Shingledecker, Lillian Bell, Jill Egan, Helen Phillips, Phillip Ramsey, Helen Newhouse Wells, Randus Foringer, Mae Swartfager, Twila Summerville, Mary Hepler Shield, Ruth Riddle Delp, Ethel McNutt, Helen Mohney Becker, Ethel Foringer, Grace Polliard

Some who taught Brown School located on land now owned by Jerry Brown were:

LaRue Wells Gourley, Ruth King, Elwin Brown, Dora Brown, Ethel Foringer, Nelle Phillips Brown, Fred Phillips, Ruth Riddle Delp, Harriet Hall, Freda Stewart, Arthur Brown

This school was located in Climax, in southern Porter Township, near the Red Bank Creek. Some teachers were:

Mary Barnhart, Margaret Leach, Mary Heller Fox, George Henry

In 1842 the first Cottage hill schoolhouse (a log structure) was built where the late Nellie Henderson's home now stands.

Teachers there:
Rubin Smith, Emmaline Good, Martha Jane Henry, Elizabeth Duff, Catherine Brady, Hiran Lerch, John Shanafelt, John McConnell Henry, James Lowe, Townsend Shoemaker, James Quigley, Hardee Miller, Esther McCluer, L. L. Himes

The other school at the top of Cottage Hill, located on land now owned by William George, was built in 1856. This frame building was later enlarged to a two room school. It was in this building the Wesleyan Methodist Church was organized in 1946.

Some who taught here were:
Mrs. George Arblaster, Professor W. A. Beer, Prof. S. C. Hepler, Prof. Will Lavely, Charles Pott, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Corbett, Miss Elliott, Anna George, Clara Belle Smith, Miss Sofer, Ida Mohney Fox, Iva Males, Lillian Sayers, Merrill Laughlin, Phillip Ramsey, Sylvester Broscious, Ed McSparrin, Miss Ella Ion, Bessie Goheen, Zoe McMaster, DeRose Caldwell Campbell, Loretta Wilt, Azia Kahle Heeter, Clara Wagner Miller, Jill Egan, Catherine Hindman Polliard, Alice Baker, Margaret Zilhaver McNutt, Celeste Sheffer Ross, Beatrice Reddinger, Paul Ramsey, Tom Carlos, Twila Fleming, Arthur Brown, Ethel McNutt, Harvey Miller

Located on the Phillips farm, this school closed in 1930.
Some teachers were:

Margaret Burns, Mary Fowkes, Ruth McNutt, Alice Pence McCauley, Dorothy Spindler, Ethel Foringer, Grace Stewart, Bessie Goheen, Susan Wells McMaster, Ethel Pence, LaRue Wells Gourley, Ada Spindler, Mary Reitz, Virginia Matson, Isabel Groves, Ruth Polliard Laughlin, Charles Laughlin, Sr., George Henry, Mae Swartfager Brinker, Alice Pence McCauley

Located on the climax road on land now owned by Evans.
Some who taught:

Ed McSparrin, Mary Heller Fox, Zoe McMaster, Margaret Pence Goheen, Martha Hepler, John Lavely, George Spindler, May Sayers, Margaret Daugherty, Margaret Leach, Tom Carlos, Marie Shankle, Paul Ramsey, Ruth King, Alice Baker, Harry Ferner, George Henry, Sam Divins, Dosty Salyards, Nellie Hoover McNutt, Ida Mohney Fox, Clara Bell Smith, Veronica Daugherty, Martha Shumaker, Hazel Corbett, Mable Beers, Isabel Groves, Merrill Laughlin, Mary McCune

This district was partly Monroe Township. Located in northeastern Porter Township and dates back to 1858, the land now owned by Foringer.
Some teachers were:

Mae Sayers, Rose Grueble, Randus Foringer, Mary Hamm, Alice Summerville, Gladys Frampton, Helen Phillips, Grace Polliard, Frances Krotzer McMaster

Jacks schoolhouse today serves as the residence of the Elmer McCauley family. It was in this building that the Clarion County Anti-Horse Thief Association was founded.
Teachers recalled are:

Mary Hepler, Emma Fox, Paul Ramsey, Nora Space, Frank Brown, Mac Krotzer, Estella Brinker, Ethel McNutt, Belle Carson, Ida Mohney Fox, Harry Spindler, Lena Carmichael, Mable Walls, Ethel Foringer, Mary McCune, Hilda Over Lerch, Margaret Zilhaver, Helen Philips

This school, founded in an area off Route 66, north of New Bethlehem. The only teacher recalled is
Charles Swartfager.

Located along Route 854, this schoolhouse is now the residence of Merle Males. Pedagogues teaching here were:
Mary Hepler Shields, Ruth Henry Brown, Mary McCune, Helen Henry Mong, John Rankin, Ed McSparrin, Millie Delp Weeter, Dorthy McNaughton, Leola Eckart, Florence Corbett, Helen Newhouse Wells, Pauline McCurdy, Helen Carson, Helen Henry, Arthur Brown, LaRue Wells Gourley, Ida Mohney, Charles Henry, Phillip Ramsey, Hazel Oppelt, Grace Frampton, Frances Krotzer McMaster, Martha Pickens, Lex McClure, Ruth King, McClelland Bashline, Daisy Kelly Tabler, Ruth McNutt McMaster, Iola Bashline Dovenspike.

Located on the farm of J. Mohney in the norhtwest section of the township, was taught by John Mohney in the eighteen sixties. Some who followed were:

May Brown, Carl Summerville, Emma Fox, Blanch Dixon, Madge Smith, Ella Summerville, William Males, Harry Miller, Parma Dixon Mohney, Mary Reitz

Two buildings served the Smithland students. The first school was built in 1842 across from the Paul Downs home. The second building was built of tile in 1901. 
Some teachers were:

J. E. McSparrin, Fred Phillips, Celia Phillips Henry, Bess Hoover Laughlin, Merrill Laughlin, Mary Heller Fox, Verde Culbertson, Charles Henry, Fannie Emhoff McDonald

This building was used for a Grange and 4H and is the only original school building still standing in Porter Township. Some of the teachers were:

Bertha Tiley, Phillip Ramsey, Loretta Carlos, Ella Ion, Dora Brown, Mae Swartfager Brinker, Grace Spindler, Mrs. Lesh, LaRue Wells Gourley, Louella Blair, Elinor Phillips Cadman, Margaret Zilhaver McNutt, Annie Barlett, Susan Wells, Helen Henry Mong, Ethel Schwab

Starburg was located on the Olean Road beyond the Musser Farm. Teachers recalled are:

Ann Fowkes, Jim White (1888), Mae Foner, Mary Fowkes (1904)

In 1844, the average salary for men was $14.39, for women $7.30. In 1850, $16.92 and $8.26, and by 1900 teachers were paid forty dollars per month. Later $85 and aobut 1916 one hundred dollars was a goodly sum for a standard certificate.

In the early years schools operated by subscription, when parents provided lodging in return for four months education for their children. By 1907, it was seven months, later increased to eight and about 1940, to nine months. 

The building was erected about 1906 just west of the Rockville crossroad. It was a two story, two room building. A two-year course of high school was conducted in the upper room and eight grades were taught in the lower room. Later a third year course was added and a second teacher employed. Among the early graduates were Parma Dixon Mooney, Hodge and Fenton Krotzer, and Leslie Spindler. Teachers in the high school that are recalled include:

Labrida Hanby, Edward Lesh, Beatrice Reddinger, Merle Corbett, Madge Timlin, Horace Mooney, T. E. Summerville, Emma Henry, Earl Parks, Ethel McNutt Decker, Grace Stewart, H. H. Yeager, Dora Brown, Adolph Wetzel, Mable Dunlap, William Stewart, Robert Vaughn, Ruth Henry Brown, Blanche Ion Hartman

In 1936 the township consolidated its schools and the new building on the Paul Barlet farm was occupied by a four year high school. It also took care of first through sixth grade. The old high school building was used to house seventh and eighth grades with Merrill Laughlin and Paul Ramsey as instructors.
In the early forties an addition to the building enabled all grades, one through twelve, to be under one roof. Instructors at this time were:

Belle Carson, Dorothy Slick, Eva Jane Garver Shick, Sara Fowkes, Freda Geist, Frank Malloy, Isabelle Goodfellow, Kathleen Boarts, Madeline Mocek, Sarah Kelly, Parma Mooney, Rae Cook, Phillip Dibb, Henry Burns, Helen Wassum Bowser, Ruth Delp, Elaine Kapp, Nettie Braden, Leota Laughlin, Helen Lehman, Jean Lee Bowersox, Margaret Zilhaver McNutt, Beatrice Reddinger, Robert Vaughn, Joseph Capasso, Thomas Abraham, Queen Laughlin, Tom Summerville, Martha Wassum Stahlman, LaRue Gourley, Phyllis Heeter, Annie Laurie Phillips, Louise Laugllin, Jean Laughlin Bowersox, Mae Stewart, Raymond Rowan, Louise Emhoff Bowersox, Elinor Phillips

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